R2 Certification: The Importance of Sustainable Electronics Recycling

Posted by Steve Sobota on Oct 8, 2018 12:42:48 PM
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R2 CertificationWhat’s the first thing you think about when you’re trading in a mobile device? For most consumers, it’s the trade-in value. And with over $400 million returning to consumer hands each quarter, it’s understandable to focus on getting the most money possible for your old device.

But money can’t be the only concern in your trade-in decision.

If you want to protect your personal data as you send a pre-owned device to the secondary market, you need to make sure you’re working with an R2-certified vendor.

Why Factory Resets Aren’t Enough to Protect Your Personal Data

One of the critical steps when you’re trading in a mobile device is to go through a factory reset. For many people, factory reset means complete data wipe.

However, it’s been proven that factory resets don’t necessarily delete all data off of your mobile devices. If you aren’t taking the necessary precautions, you’re opening yourself up to potential identity theft.

In 2017, nearly 17 million Americans became victims of identity theft, resulting in $16.8 billion in damages. Even if you think you’re safe because you manage your passwords properly and avoid suspicious links, unsecure device trade-ins can make you a victim.

The solution is to make sure that the vendor you are trading in your phone to, is R2-certified or works with an R2-certified company.

What Is R2 Certification?

“R2” is an acronym for “Responsible Recycling.” For vendors in the electronics reuse, repair, and recycling industry, R2 Certification is a standard that ensures the quality, transparency, and environmental/social responsibility of secondary market logistics.

The R2 standard outlines specific criteria and expectations that companies must meet (and maintain once certified). These expectations are meant to raise the bar on how companies handle electronics and the consumer protected information (CPI) they contain.

The R2 difference carries across a wide range of criteria, including documentation for environmental, health, and safety management, legal/regulatory compliance, data destruction, storage, security, and more.

Uncertified companies haven’t been vetted by the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) housing body, meaning their processing haven’t been subject to the strict compliance audits necessary for certification.

When you trust your trade-in devices to these uncertified companies, you risk having your data mishandled, opening you up to identity theft as the device hits the secondary market.

The Benefits of Working with an R2-Certified Vendor

There are many advantages to working with an R2-certified trade-in vendor. But from a consumer perspective, it comes down to two key benefits:

  • Data Security: The R2 standard ensures that all personal data is fully wiped during processing, preventing any sensitive information from ending up in someone else’s hands. This level of security is achieved through approved data clearing methods set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Every device that goes through data clearing receives a “Certificate of Data Destruction,” guaranteeing full sanitization.
  • Environmental Impact: Projections show that 49.8 million metric tons of electronic waste will be generated in 2018—largely from small electronic equipment like mobile devices. Most consumers rarely think about where their trade-in devices end up, but knowing you’re responsibly disposing of a device is an added benefit alongside the monetary value.

Here at HYLA, we take our R2 certification very seriously. Our core business focuses on reclaiming the life of a potential obsolete device and putting it back into the market for continued use—and we do so by guaranteeing data sanitization and environmental safety.

We promote a Zero Landfill Policy, which prohibits any recycled or scrap electronic materials to end up in landfills as a disposal method. We only authorize environmentally-friendly end-of-life destruction.

The next time you are contemplating what to do with your old mobile device, remember how important R2 certification is to the safety of both your personal data and the environment—don’t put them at risk just for a couple extra dollars or even worse, just tossing it away.

WP: Mobile Devices and the Circular Economy

Topics: Device Trade-in Solutions, Sustainability, Recycling

About This Blog

The HYLA Mobile blog is a place for thoughtful dialogue that will ultimately change the perception of “used” phones around the world. Visit the HYLA website to learn more.

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